After building your ad platform, the next step is acquiring advertisers. One way to do this is launching an outbound strategy, where you create interest by reaching out cold to potential advertisers.
This is relevant for nearly all ad platforms. Even if you are a marketplace or have a retail media platform, advertisers won’t necessarily flock to you. You’ll still need to contact the right decision makers to initiate testing your ad platform’s ROI.
This article outlines the tools, resources, and steps for getting your outbound campaigns started.
First and foremost, you must understand your own ad product. Educate yourself on the logistics, features, and implementation of it. Know your targeting, reporting, and self-serve offerings, as well as any key differentiators in the market.
Consider why someone would care. What makes your ad product special? Why would someone spend ad money with you rather than Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.?
Use this information throughout the process.
Similarly, identify your target market. For retailers, it might be vendors and merchants you already work with. Define what brands you’d ideally like as advertisers. You may look first for companies who have similar target audiences as yours. A marketplace, for example, might target their own vendors first. We recommend creating an ideal customer persona before sending your first email.
After understanding your product and its relevance to your target advertisers, write your messaging. It must resonate with your audience if you want a response. Remember - there are plenty of other ad platforms out there; you must find a way to stand out.
One piece of advice: good advertisers know their target market. Speak to how your ad platform connects them with that audience and what their potential ROI.
As you then start reaching out to prospects, make sure you test and iterate as needed. Try coming up with 3-5 email subjects. Which ones drive opens? What about response rates? Use this data to hone in on the right message you need to scale.
Outbound is a numbers game. If you want to reach out to hundreds or thousands of potential advertisers, you need tools to help automate and track these campaigns.
Below are some helpful SaaS tools you could use for outbounding:
You’ll need to dedicate resources to executing your outbound vision. If you’re starting out, this sales role could be handled by anyone: the PM involved, ad operations, a solo salesperson, and so on (see our article here about the needed hats to launch an ad platform).
As you scale, however, you may want to build an entire team focused on outbounding and growing your advertiser base.
Your outbound team could also partner with your marketing department to pair emails with paid spend targeting the same companies/people you are outreaching to. LinkedIn will be the top option here, but you can also do company targeting on Facebook using Clearbit Ads.
Once you’ve gathered your messaging, tools, and team, it’s time to get started. A typical day for your outbound sales team will include:
There’s a lot to do, and there’s always more you can do to engage with prospects. Remember the basic strategy: test, measure, and refine.
Launching an outbound strategy can be challenging. It requires one key characteristic: persistence. You will often be ignored and hear “no” frequently. Don’t give up! Focus your efforts on structure and strategy, not results. It takes time to know what messaging resonates and how to connect your product with your audience. Keep it up!
Kevel offers the infrastructure APIs needed to quickly build custom ad platforms for sponsored listings, internal promotions, native ads, and more - so you can drive new revenue and take back the Internet.
We are committed to the vision that every online retailer and publisher should be able to add user-first ad revenue streams and take back the Internet from Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Customers like Ticketmaster, Yelp, Strava, Mozilla, and many more have already launched successful ad platforms on Kevel.
Sarah is an experienced writer with a software background, allowing her to translate between ad tech experts and lay readers. As Kevel's Associate Product Marketing Manager, she helps broadcast new products and features.